-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
Editorial Disclaimer: This is for fun. This is entertainment. This is not journalism. No coaches' egos were harmed in the making of this piece. Please enjoy as such...
Vito Corleone – Rick Pitino, Louisville
ncaa, coaches, godfather, basketballPitino has been to the top of the mountain and felt the warm glow of a championship wash over him like the Tuscan sun. Yet, he didn’t stick around too long in Act I as the game began to pass him by. He disappeared for a while but returned to play a prominent role in Act II – whether that is under the lights of Madison Square Garden in the Big East Championship or making Charles Barkley look foolish on CBS’ television set. Most importantly, Vito taught his prized pupil how to operate, recruit, coach, fund-raise and dress – as both a player and coach.
Michael Corleone – Billy Donovan, Florida
After heading off to war to hone his craft (in the MAC), "Mikey" could not help but return to his father’s arena (the SEC). When the son of the legend took over, he exceeded all expectations, but this time in a new zip code. After learning on the job the hard way, Michael grew the empire to levels Vito could not achieve – winning twice as many championships as his mentor. Even beyond all expectations, Mikey exists now in a dangerous what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of guerilla war-cruiting. He is constantly looking over his shoulder – and possibly losing hair for it – but a fourth trip to the championship game would keep him on top of the family business. Plus, his name is Donovan.
Fredo Corleone – John Calapari, Kentucky
Coach Cal has proven that he will do whatever is humanly possible to win. And he has come so very close, only to have all he worked for snatched from within his fingertips (in this case, by Tom Hagen, but more on that in a minute). Fredo’s inability to maintain institutional control over his immediate family forced Michael to strip his brother of any trust he may have. So he aligned himself with Johnny Ola, a shady, backroom character with deep roots in the seedy, worldwide underbelly, and one casual slip of the tongue cost him everything. He was given a tradition-laden, historic family name only to soil it with desperation and treachery.
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